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Ninth Annual Festival
Bits and Pieces - a short from Jordan
Director: Jackie Sawiris and Ben Mandell
Producer: Jackie Sawiris and Ben Mandell
Winner of the Diversity Award
ABOUT THE FILM
More about Bits and Pieces from filmmakers Jackie Sawiris and Ben Mandell
Bits and Pieces is a short film inspired by the powerful need to confront distorted perceptions of Jordanians in particular and Arabs in general. After finding each other through the online film community Shooting People, Jordanian/Egyptian filmmaker Jackie Sawiris and American filmmaker Ben Mandell came together in Jordan in October 2008. With the help of friends, family and strangers, they set out to understand and document the realities of one of the Middle East’s most rapidly developing nations.
The filmmakers conducted over two dozen interviews with men and women of various ages and socioeconomic backgrounds. From these conversations certain inescapable truths emerged, including Jordan’s place in the world, the impact of globalization, the complexity of being Muslim, homosexuality and tolerance, the hatta (traditional headdress) and its association with terrorism, what it means to be Palestinian, the desire for peace and the need for understanding between cultures.
Forgoing a traditional documentary approach, the filmmakers selected excerpts from eight of the interviews to illustrate with handmade mosaics. The final result is a mesmerizing blend of traditional Jordanian culture and contemporary insights.